UAE: How Residents Have Made The Shift Towards Plastic-Free Shopping

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Tue 6 Jun 2023, 5:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 6 Jun 2023, 10:00 PM

Residents across the country have wholeheartedly embraced the concept of plastic-free shopping following the ban on plastic in the UAE.

They also welcomed the introduction of charges for plastic bags in Dubai and Sharjah which will deter people from dependence on single-use plastic and opt for reusable bags.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, residents in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, shed light on how their lives have changed since the plastic ban came into effect, highlighting the significant impact it has had on their daily routines and overall mindset.

Faris Hamdan, a Syrian expat residing in Sharjah, said that he has been carrying reusable bags in his office suitcase.“It has become a habit for me. I remember it was a little challenging in the beginning. I usually shop after my work and after I'm done shopping, I empty the products and put the reusable bags back in my office bag,” said Hamdan.

“I even carry a spare expandable bag. I'm proud to be part of a community that actively cares for the environment,” added Hamdan.

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced that the implementation of the ban on the single-use plastic policy has yielded impressive results, with a remarkable up to 95 percent reduction in the use of single-use plastic bags within its first year.

EAD confirmed that more than 172 million single-use plastic grocery bags have been prevented from entering the environment. The ban was enacted on June 1, 2022, and, to date, 450,000 single-use plastic bags have been saved each day.

Yaqoob Musba, a resident of Abu Dhabi shared his experience saying that the introduction of charges for plastic bags made him more conscious of consumption.“We had been carrying our own bags wherever we go for shopping. My car, my brother's car, and the family's car have at least ten reusable bags stacked up. It has become a norm in my family and relatives. It's not just about saving money, it's about reducing waste and preserving our surroundings,” he said.

“It's not just us, but the grocers have also played a vital role by urging residents to carry their own bags, added Musba.

A grocery attendant in Al Barsha said that charging on plastic bags has significantly reduced its usage.“Many people have started bringing their own bags and are really concerned about its usage,” said the attendant.

Mohammed Fami, a resident of Dubai's Al Nahda said that he has noticed a significant shift in the way grocery stores operate.“I work at a mall in Sharjah. I have noticed stores and groceries promoting sustainable alternatives and encouraging us to make better choices,” Fami said.

“The change is so much evident that my 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter remind us to carry bags while going out,” he added.


  • abu dhabi announces 95% drop in use of single-use plastic bags after ban
  • dubai flights: emirates to start using recycled utensils on board from this month


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